People ask what motivated me to leave a career as a strategic planning consultant for major corporations to become a fee-only financial advisor.

The process began when a close family member faced a personal crisis and asked me to review her financial situation. I was shocked by what I found. Her finances were in disarray. She had been sold high commission funds that were not appropriate given her age, and her portfolio had excessive turnover. This resulted in hidden fees and poor performance. Her insurance policies were overlapping. She needed a financial advisor who she could trust.

Several aspects made transitioning to the financial advising field a great fit. I love to teach and enjoy acting as an advocate for consumers. I have a multi-disciplinary educational background with degrees in psychology and business from Vassar, Harvard, and UCLA. My work as a corporate strategic consultant had involved anticipating future trends, analyzing statistics, and making financial recommendations. Becoming a certified financial planner enhanced these skills.

Since becoming a financial advisor over a decade ago, I remain curious about the challenges people face. Most of my clients experience transitions in their lives, and listening to each one’s unique story is essential when determining an appropriate plan and investment strategy. Collaborating with diverse clients keeps my work interesting. I enjoy educating people about opportunities and risks as they move through various phases of life.

At Street Smart Financial, a fee-only financial service firm in Lexington, Massachusetts, we offer investment management and planning services. Our goal is to demystify personal finance so clients can maintain control over their financial matters.

Rand Spero, CFP®, MBA, Ed.M.